Friday, November 11, 2016

Northwestern's 13-0 run highlights Friday's season-opening win over Hampton

                               Photo Credit: Northwestern Athletics

Season openers serve a special purpose for any school, no matter the records.

Some play tough games, while others schedule smaller schools to get the engines revving.

For the Northwestern Wildcats, most of the first half proved to be a grind as the pesky Hampton Pirates led by as many as eight points.

Despite committing turnovers and missing prime opportunities on possessions, the Wildcats turned their intensity up and used a 13-0 run that spanned two quarters in a 67-48 win over the Pirates in the season opener at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Christen Inman spearheaded the run by scoring the first six 
points in the stretch.

"When you have seniors that have been in big games in their career and have been in NCAA Tournaments, those are the types of players you count on and [Christen] has been so steady and today was another example," Northwestern coach Joe McKeown said. 

"[Christen] is one of those players who fills that stat line and when you play with [Nia] Coffey and [Ashley] Deary, sometimes she blends in and doesn't defer."

Nia Coffey's second field goal of the game and Lauren Douglas' layup ended the second quarter run, which stretched into the third quarter with a long range make from Lydia Rohde to cap the run.

McKeown knows work must be done to avoid getting off to slow starts as the non-conference slate evolves.

"I like what we did defensively, but we got to get better in transition and have to shoot the ball much better," McKeown said.

Coffey finished her 51st straight game in double figures (14 points), while three other NU players finished in double figures scoring, highlighted by Lydia Rohde's 12 points on 4-of-7 from three-point range.

Despite the season-opening win, McKeown is still looking to blend in the leadership of Coffey, Deary and Inman with the younger players.

"We have six players that didn't play last year that are going to have an impact," McKeown said. "We are going to have some ups and downs and it won't be like Disneyworld everyday."

Northwestern returns to action on Nov. 13 against Oral Roberts for a 1 p.m. tip from Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.